Introduction: A Foreword about the Best Bass Multi Effect Pedal
Having a massive pedalboard with a dozen pedals looks impressive, but sometimes you really want to simply throw a single box into your gigbag and be ready for a show.
That’s what multi effect bass pedals are for, and we’re going to review the 4 best bass multi effect pedals available.
No matter whether you’re a pedal aficionado or just need a unique tone for your performance, a multi effect pedal can open up your tonal possibilities without having hundreds of cables lying on the floor.
And like with any other piece of gear, each multi effect bass pedal has a lot of different features that make it stand out among others.
Let’s take a look at what you need to look out for when choosing your next stomp box.
BEST BASS MULTI EFFECT PEDAL
- Polyphonic Micro POG
- Shimmer Mode
- Analog Circuitry
- 2 Overdrive Circuits
- Three large LCD displays
- 12 amp or 99 stomp box models
- 100 preset programs
- Stomp Lab OIB
Effects by Electro-Harmonix are always on top of any bass-pedals list because of their durability, quality, sound and the fact that they sound equally good on guitars and basses.
In fact, we have already reviewed the POG2 by Electro-Harmonix and we were blown away!
The EHX Epitome combines the incredible POG sounds with Electro-Harmonix Stereo Electric Mistress and Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail Plus, adding a lot of reverb, flanger and chorus to your sounds.
The EHX POG has the ultimate form of tracking, which makes it the superior octave pedal on the market. The Epitome allows you to combine the amazing-sounding upper and lower octave with psychedelic choruses or huge reverb.
This allows for amazing blues, RnB and rock sounds. You can produce incredible synth and keyboard sounds imaginable. The 3 effects can, of course, be used separately.
The pedal does exactly what it says on the tin – it offers 3 individual effects that can either be combined or used individually. It is amazing how they’ve managed to pack 3 pedals into a fairly small chassis.
Sadly, compared to the POG2, this pedal doesn’t allow you to record your presets, so it resembles a Micro POG.
The biggest turn-off is the fairly high price, but buying the pedals individually would cost almost the same or more.
The pedal is small and durable and the craftsmanship is simply flawless. If you need a durable effect that doesn’t do too much, fits on a pedalboard and offers amazing sounds, this is a pedal you can’t skip out on.
- Tone 100% 100%
- Functions 94% 94%
- Price 90% 90%
If you play rock, metal, RnB or punk, you simply need a lot of gain, a lot of fuzz, a lot of dirt in general. The Keeley Tone Workstation helps accentuate highs and mids, but it can also offer a lot of drive for harder genres.
Two separate drives can be combined, while compression helps keep everything as even as you want it to be.
Compression, Drive, Overdrive, Boost – the Keeley Workstation offers an amazing array of settings that can be combined in any order to accentuate certain frequencies, increase sustain or add girth to your sound.
While it is not the dirtiest distortion pedal of them all, it is at tool that offers just the right amount of boost.
Unlike other multi-effects, this one is analog and offers the most natural, authentic tone imaginable.
Basically, this pedal is a great preamp that can be used in combination with many different amps and basses to create authentic and accurate emulations of different tones.
The pedal has an incredibly small chassis, which means that it will fit on all pedalboards, but it might be even too small for some people.
It’s somewhat easy to mistakenly press down two switches at the same time. Besides that, we have incredible hardware and parts that work together to create amazing tones.
- Tone 99% 99%
- Functions 89% 89%
- Price 93% 93%
The B3 Bass Guitar Effects and Amp Simulator by Zoom offers amazing, high-end tones for a moderate chunk of money that really pays out.
The LCD display is pretty clear and big, a tuner, a drum machine and you can record and loop with 40 seconds of phrase recording. And the best thing is the insanely high number of presets and settings which includes over 100 built-in ZFX-IV DSP effects, up to a 100 user-created settings, as well as software for editing and changing existing presets.
While still digital, the prodcuts by Zoom traditionally sound very natural and appealing. The Artist Presets were designed by famous bassists like Victor Wooten and David Ellefson, which is why they sound convincing and natural.
You get an incredible amount of stuff because the pedal includes drive, distortion, synth, modulation and amp simulation. Up to 3 effect can be combined at a time, which gives a lot of combinations and tonal possibilities.
Sadly the tracking on the synth settings is not the best, so really fast arpeggios aren’t really possible.
The pedal contains a lot of different tools that you will need in a live setting, including the great presets and a tuner. The Zoom B3 is also useful for home recording as it contains a drum machine and doubles as an interface to record directly to your computer.
Full-metal chassis and a huge number of jack inputs make this pedal very versatile and durable. With its built-in XLR output, you don’t need a DI box.
You can directly connect the B3 to any mixing console and maintain a balanced, high quality signal. Due to its compact size, you don’t need a lot of room in case you want to put the pedal on a pedalboard.
- Tone 95% 95%
- Functions 99% 99%
- Price 91% 91%
This versatile Multi-Effects modeling pedal has a ton of presets for different styles like blues, jazz, pop, metal and rock.
The additional on-board expression pedal allows you to further modify your tone if you set it in a certain position, but also provides you with additional expressive possibilities.
The Vox Stomplab2B is specifically designed for bassists, while a version for guitar players is also available.
In terms of tonal quality, this is not the most impressive pedal on the market, but in terms of quantity, it is one that really pays out. This is a modeling pedal, which means that it is digital and has a little bit of that “fake” feel to it.
Nonetheless, beginners have a lot of presets at their disposal, while more advanced players can create up to 20 of their own presets and use them live.
The pedal can be used with batteries and can work up to 7.5 hours with batteries only. Considering the low price point, this makes it an ideal backup-pedal in case that your pedalboard starts malfunctioning or gets stolen.
It also has a tuner and the expression pedal can be used as a volume pedal, a wah, a tremolo or a compressor.
The metal chassis isn’t too big, considering that it also has an expression pedal, and it is very durable. The pedal isn’t all too big so it will fit on a pedalboard, as well.
In case that you want an even more compact size, a version without the expression pedal is available, too!
- Tone 86% 86%
- Functions 92% 92%
- Price 98% 98%
The choice of multi effect pedals is somewhat limited, though, at least compared to dedicated pedal effects. That means that you’ll have to get additional pedals if you have a very specific tone in mind.
On the other hand, depending on the multi effect pedal you have, you might be able to dial in different tones that would not be possible with a single dedicated effect.
For example, let’s assume that you need a reverb effect, but don’t need a delay pedal. You still might want to consider getting a multi effect instead of getting just the reverb, because having an additional effect in the same pedal can’t hurt in case that you want to add just a tad of delay to create a completely new and unique sound that wouldn’t be possible with just one reverb pedal.
The biggest problem with multi-effects is that you will have to invest a good chunk of money into it and that you might want to have a backup multi effect pedal available.
The reason for this is that in the unfortunate case that something stops working in your multi effect pedal, you will be left without any effects. If you have a high-end, durable multi effect box, this will happen rarely, and if you have a backup multi effect, you will just have to quickly exchange them.
In the case of a traditional pedalboard, you could theoretically just remove one faulty pedal or cable, but finding the thing that stopped working takes a bit of time.
This is why a multi effect is great for live settings – you can use it as a backup for your pedalboard, too!
Just unhook your instrument from the whole pedalboard and connect it to the pedal, then the pedal goes to the amp – and you’re back in the game!
But what kind of multi-effects pedal do you need?
This primarily depends on the genre and style you’re playing. We are going to demonstrate a few pedals that are all different from each other in terms of looks, sound, function and price.
Multi effect pedals are a great way to save up on space if you’re using a pedalboard and they are a great addition to your gear collection. They are especially useful in a live-performance setting because you won’t have to bother with many different cable and jack types.
Having all your favorite effects in one pedal also means that it’s easier to transport them and that it’s faster to hook everything up and set up the tone you want. Once you learn how to set up the different effects, you won’t have to bother with dialing in many different pedals. Some multi-effects also have presets or a function to create a custom preset, which makes them really easy to use.
Be sure to save up for a good and durable pedal and you’ll definitely love the result. But, if you are more into dedicated pedals, check out more reviews in our bass-guitar section!